I met Paul Newman once, At Cannes. He was there for Mr. and Mrs. Bridge. He was my height, and looked straight at me with his brilliant blue eyes. They were piercing, intensely blue. Almost azure.
After a long battle with cancer, Newman died Friday, at his farm near Westport, Conn. Here’s the A.P. obit. ABC News looks back at Newman. Here’s a photo gallery. UPDATE: Peter Bart on Newman’s bent for political causes.
Sure he was gorgeous. Always. But that was by no means the sum of his gifts. Newman was a tad insecure, people who worked with him have said. He wasn’t one of those actors who took his gift for granted. He fussed and worried and needed his directors’ reassurance and support. They were always rewarded.
Here’s William Goldman from Adventures in the Screen Trade:
Paul Newman is the least starlike superstar I’ve ever worked with. He’s an educated man and a trained actor and he never wants more close-ups. What he wants is the best possible script and character he can have. And he loves to be surrounded by the finest actors available, because he believes the better they are, the better the picture’s apt to be, the better he’ll come out. Many stars, maybe even most, don’t want that competition.
They don’t make them like Newman anymore.
Here’s a clip from a Cannes press conference with Newman and his wife Joanne Woodward for The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds and the trailer for Newman’s last film, Sam Mendes’ 2002 Road to Perdition (he later voiced a memorable role in John Lasseter’s Cars):